Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Popeye's fave

Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia; Arab traders then carried spinach into India, and the plant was then introduced into ancient China, where it was known as "Persian vegetable". The earliest available record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese.

Spinach first appeared in England and France in the 14th century, probably via Spain, and it gained quick popularity because it appeared in early spring, when other vegetables were scarce. In 1533 Catherine de Medici became queen of France and she loved spinach so much that she insisted it be served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as "Florentine", reflecting Catherine's birth in Florence.

During World War I, wine fortified with spinach juice was given to French soldiers weakened by hemorrhage. 

The cartoon character Popeye ate a lot of spinach, which purportedly made him stronger. It is said that the reason for his affinity with spinach was based on faulty calculations of the iron content in spinach. Apparently a misplaced a decimal point in an 1870 measurement of spinach's iron content led to an iron value 10 times higher than it should have been and this faulty measurement wasn't noticed until the 1930s.

Our favourite way of eating spinach is quickly flash fried with a tiny bit of oil, garlic and good quality salt and pepper. For breakfast with eggs or dinner with any dish, spinach is a super-hero veggie.

Buy your spinach and other seasonal produce from Sorbello Tomatoes and Rita's Farm Produce at the Lane Cove Food & Farmers' Markets every Sunday 9am-1.30pm; and Rita's Farm Produce at the Bondi Junction Village Markets every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am-5pm. All our markets are open every week except public holidays.

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